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The Don’t Be A Banker Scholarship

Posted in by Andy Bell on 27 June 2011

Enjoy Capitalism

Mint is awarding a scholarship of £4000 ($6000) to help a university leaver or recent graduate launch a business. We are looking for someone with a promising idea and the personal characteristics to turn it into a success.

If you win the scholarship, you will have two months to develop your idea, working in the entrepreneurial environment of Mint Digital.

At the end of this time the idea will remain 100% yours. We hope you'll want to develop it further with Mint, in which case we'll try to offer you a deal that will allow us to keep collaborating.

Why is Mint doing this?

We want to steer talented people away from a career in banking. We want to help create a new digital business. We think it might be fun.

What have you got against bankers?

We haven’t got anything against bankers. Our current CEO, our previous CEO and many talented Mints have worked in financial services.

It’s just that too many of the best and the brightest in the UK and the USA work for banks and other large companies, especially when they are first starting their careers. We believe there are better ways to enjoy capitalism.

Entrepreneurs are born not made. Won't a scholarship attract the wrong sort of people?

Nonsense. There are lots of people who would benefit from a nudge in the right direction. (I know I did.)

Do I have to prove that I am a banker or I would go into banking?

No. If you are considering a career in consulting or advertising or any large company, we are just as keen to save you from yourself.

Do I need technical skills to apply?

No. We are primarily looking for a good idea and an entrepreneurial attitude. That said, if you have technical skills feel free to apply. Any technical skills would be a lovely bonus.

Can I apply in a team?

Yes. If a team wins, you'll be asked to share the scholarship and you can all come and work at Mint together (perhaps for a shorter time, if you'd rather not stretch the funding over two months.)

What sort of ideas are you looking for?

We’re big fans of seed accelerators like Y Combinator and Techstars. Like them, we’re not focused on any particular sector or business model. As long as you’re passionate about it we want to hear from you.

Surprise us!

How will you choose the winner?

We'll select a shortlist who will be called for interview and we will offer the scholarship to the candidate(s) who we are most excited by.

What happens during the scholarship?

You work from a Mint office, refining and testing your product vision. You might do this by either engaging with your target market or producing prototypes. We believe it’s important to test and refine your idea in the face of real world users.

One of Mint's founders will be available for a weekly meeting, as well as an office full of talented individuals from whom to draw experience and bounce ideas off of. We have spun out our own ideas in the past and will do our best to introduce you to potential investors and partners in the future.

More generally, we hope you will benefit from working in an environment surrounded by innovators, designers and software engineers.

What happens at the end of the two months?

Here are some possible scenarios, in order of what we'd most like to happen:

  • Your idea coalesces into something promising. You and Mint agree to build a prototype with the aim of securing angel investment and/or launching to the world.
  • Your idea coalesces into something promising. You go off and make it happen on your own.
  • Your idea doesn't quite work out. But we get on. You stay around and work for Mint.
  • You decide the life of a swashbuckling web entrepreneur is not for you and take a job in an investment bank.

Where will the scholarship be based?

Either in our London or New York office. You must be eligible to work in the EU or the USA, respectively.

How do I apply?

Fill in this form. Applications close on July 15th and interviews will happen the week or two following. (Note: the deadline for applications has now passed.)

(Photo credit: @boetter)

UPDATE: Congratulations to Chris and Zac for winning this scholarship.

  1. Default avatar

    Kaye Symington

    29 June, 2011

    This is a great opportunity, and from experience Mint are a fantastic company to work for. Innovative, exciting and a bunch of the most enthusiastic people you ever did see.

    KS

  2. Profile image?screen name=sandeep29

    Sandeep A

    11 July, 2011

    Looks like a great opportunity. Is this open to current university students? Or recent graduates only?

  3. Default avatar

    Angie Maguire

    11 July, 2011

    Hi Sandeep,

    the scholarship is open to both parties, however, if you are a currently a student you have to able to commit full time to the two month development period.

    Look forward to hearing your ideas!

  4. Default avatar

    Andy Bell

    16 July, 2011

    Applications are now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied: we've been delighted by the quality of the applications. We'll be in touch shortly about next steps.

  5. Default avatar

    Peter Marino

    18 July, 2011

    I am so glad to see a digital/tech business doing this! You are 100% right too many people with brilliant brains are wasted on banking.

  6. Default avatar

    Andy Bell

    05 August, 2011

    We've chosen the winners. Blog post coming just as soon as we've got a photo of them!

  7. Default avatar

    Andy

    19 August, 2011

    Here's an article on the winners: http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2011/7869.html

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